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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

tomatometer

64

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 270
Fresh: 174 | Rotten: 96

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.

47

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 25

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 462,589

My Rating

Movie Info

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo

Mar 19, 2013

$303.0M

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December 12, 2013:
Peter Jackson's Best Movies
No surprises here, folks -- other movies are coming out this week, but it's really all about The...
August 14, 2013:
MGM Revenues Rise
James Bond and the Hobbits pad the studio's once-barren bottom line.

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All Critics (270) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (174) | Rotten (96) | DVD (4)

It frequently seems as though Jackson was less interested in making The Hobbit than in remaking his own fabulously successful Lord of the Rings series.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

My first thought in watching The Hobbit was: Do we really need this movie? It was my last thought, too.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To its own narrative detriment, "The Hobbit" works hard to lay the framework for what will follow. Certainly that's one way to set out on a trilogy, but it's surely not the best.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's no denying the majesty in Peter Jackson's visuals but he's taken a relatively slim children's book and stretched it beyond the limits.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The repeated iterations of fight, flight and respite here get wearing. Especially perhaps because, with Jackson's fetish for detail, they take more time to watch on screen than to read about.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has finally arrived, not on wings of gossamer fancy but with a hairy-footed thud.

December 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You may have seen Middle Earth before. But you haven't been IN Middle Earth.Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' has made it possible for you to feel like you're surrounded by the astonishing environment created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

April 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

With the first film pushing three hours, purists will be pleased. Less die-hard audiences will find a lot of meandering set-up - albeit visually gorgeous meandering setup.

April 23, 2014 Full Review Source: Columbus Alive
Columbus Alive

Remember the joke that The Fellowship of the Ring was just a bunch of people walking around for three hours? In this case, it's actually true.

January 22, 2014 Full Review Source: The Verge
The Verge

An occasionally entertaining but empty fantasy epic...

December 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It rambles over hill and dale and mountain and field and forest and marsh and through cavern and catacomb and grotto and pothole...but will please the Tolkien faithful.

November 18, 2013 Full Review Source: MLive.com
MLive.com

While the new scenes don't add much to the great film, the outstanding wealth of special features makes this one of the must-own Blu-rays of 2013.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

It's like we returned to Disneyland to find it looking as magical as ever, but with most of the rides closed.

July 28, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

There are worse ways to kill time, sure; it's just that there is, alas, so much time to kill.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

"Unexpected Journey" runs nearly three hours. That gives Jackson plenty of time to revive its magic [which he does] by triggering our good will toward the "Rings" trilogy. He evokes the trilogy's tone and its rhythms.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

As great as Serkis is, he can't begin to make 'The Hobbit' look anything but short.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

The odd thing about the saying "too much of a good thing" is that it acknowledges the fact that, something, in general, is composed of an overabundance of excellence.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Racket
Film Racket

The Hobbit may not be as memorable as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it's a mostly faithful adaptation that sticks to the same tones and themes of the source material.

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

It's a journey that any fan of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy should enjoy.

March 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth feels familiar and unfulfilling.

March 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

If Jackson had focused simply on Bilbo's party and their attempts to get a proper homeland for the dwarves, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' would have been a leaner, more engaging tale.

February 2, 2013 Full Review Source: KC Active
KC Active

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien may like sitting through a 169 minute film, that easily could have been trimmed by at least 50 minutes. But, I was constantly aware of the long running time.

February 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

Whenever this movie suffers from lengthy prequel-itis and a weighty sense of expectations, it falls short. Still, for much of its 165 minutes, this epic has enough small moments and deft touches that it tugs you along with the power of a good story.

January 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

An Unexpected Journey offers an unparalleled visual spectacle

January 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

a drag-down, mildly diverting entertainment

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

When the dwarves turn up mob-handed, kicking off a night of boisterous revelry, the laboured jests and jollity seem to go on forever. And the combination of dwarves, forced humour and familiar faces off the telly turn the occasion into bad panto.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Audience Reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

i really enjoyed this film, and i embrace it as a solid entry into this amazing franchise. the story was engaging and it was wonderful to get wrapped back up into middle earth for another 3 hours. however, although we all knew this would be a lighter tone than LOTR as it was written for a younger audience, the film was even more silly and light than it needed to be considering the source material and the earlier films. the hobbit should have a childlike quality, but again, this film was silly to a fault. the effects were also worse than LOTR despite advancements in technology due to peter jackson relying far too much on CGI where he would have used more practical effects in the previous films, and it made a negative impact on my ability to escape into the world of the film. the film is also a bit more aimless. the earlier films were more motivated, with more momentum in each scene, and this film sort of felt like it simply stumbled from moment to moment until the end. overall, fun, and worthwhile, but a missed opportunity for continued greatness.
June 26, 2014
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

A thrilling adventure. I liked all the songs and cute (but grubby) Dwarves. Peter Jackson took a little kids' storybook and Rankin-Bass cartoon and made it into an epic. It took itself less seriously than Lord of the Rings - the fate of the world seemed not at stake here. It was like a great D&D adventure. There was a load of backstory and subplots added to the story, which really makes it better overall.
January 4, 2014
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

There is so much to love about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and sometimes that particular fact overshadows what are a few minor problems with the film. It is a simple story, told in a very grand scale, about Dwarfs, accompanied by a Hobbit, who are on a quest to reclaim the Dwarfs homeland. Along the way, he comes across as mysterious ring, and the climax unfolds. This film has a very dark tone to it, with very excessive images, but the things that truly bugs me is the fact that it shifts back and forth from dark to comical too quickly, taking away some of the mood. Still, I highly enjoyed watching this film and the cliffhanger is incredible. I cannot wait for part 2 of this trilogy. It is no match for "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but on it's own, it really has something going for it. It was also nice to seem some pretty awesome cameos from familiar faces. Overall, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is 100% worth it!
December 12, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Okay, first the bad news: The Hobbit runs about thirty minutes too long: the first hour takes so much time setting the story up that it begins to feel tedious by the 45 minute mark. Because of this, I can't put it in the same league as Peter Jackson's monumental Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which was not only a flawless adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy novels, but also one of the best film trilogies of all time.
Now with that aside, once the set up is done, The Hobbit frequently exhibits the same magic and wonder of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Despite being so CGI heavy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a gorgeous looking movie. Every frame, cut, and shot is amazing. Chief among making this possible is the high speed projector rate of 48fps. The detail in the shots, the clarity of the movements, and the 3D technology is the most amazing visual experience you will have at the cinema this or any year. The High Frame Rate may be jarring at first because the characters move so smoothly, but once your eyes adjust, it's a truly unique experience.
The action scenes are breathtaking. Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo melds clever humour with emotional depth. The company of dwarfs are all remarkably lovable characters, and the returning characters like Elrond, Frodo, and Galadriel are welcome additions to enhance nostalgia. Gollum's return in particular is as creepy and suspenseful as any of his scenes in LOTR. This is great action filmmaking, and while Peter Jackson shows his tendency to self indulge a little too much, he hasn't quite lost his touch.
December 12, 2013
MovieGeek13

Super Reviewer

    1. Gandalf: You've been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me. When did doilies and your mother's dishes become so important to you? I remember a young hobbit who was always running off in search of Elves in the woods. He'd stay out late, come home after dark, trailing mud and twigs and fireflies. A young hobbit who would've liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there.
    – Submitted by Tom B (4 months ago)
    1. Bilbo Baggins: Disintegration?
    – Submitted by Jacob G (4 months ago)
    1. Gandalf: True courage is knowing not how to take a life, but when to spare it.
    – Submitted by Frances H (7 months ago)
    1. Bilbo Baggins: I'm going on an adventure!
    – Submitted by Danny O (7 months ago)
    1. Gandalf: I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.
    – Submitted by Maryam Z (7 months ago)
    1. Gandalf: These are gundabad wargs. They will outrun you!
    – Submitted by vijeyta R (14 months ago)
View all quotes (103)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Hobbit: Eine unerwartete Reise (DE)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (UK)
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